C25K Week 9

I wasn’t really in the mood for running this weekend. It had been snowing last week and the temperature in my flat had been so low that the condensation on the inside of my windows had frozen. Getting warm and staying warm had been a real problem this past week, so needless to say, I wasn’t really in the mood for getting cold again!

Luckily though, I noticed my downstairs neighbour going out early, so I figured I could use the treadmill without disturbing anyone – the machine itself isn’t particularly noisy, but I doubt she would appreciate half an hours worth of running going on right above her living room.

The trouble with using the treadmill, apart from the fact that you miss out on running outside, is that my treadmill isn’t very accurate in terms of measuring speed and distance. Luckily my new Garmin is very clever and seems to have some idea of distance even when you’re running on the treadmill – probably because it measures steps or something, but I’m not really sure how it works.

Anyway, knowing that neither the Garmin nor the treadmill would be particularly accurate, I decided to go with whatever gave me the slowest time. That way, I should be doing at least 5K and hopefully a bit more to make up for running indoors.

This approach seemed to be about right. I figured it would have taken me sometime between 35 and 40 minutes to run 5K outside at the moment, so when the treadmill hit the 5K mark in under 35 minutes, I kept going until the Garmin agreed that I had completed the distance.

In the end, according to the Garmin, I completed 5K in 37:57, which I think is probably about right going by my current form. Either way though, it didn’t matter that much as I knew that I was still making progress in terms of time on my feet.

Next weekend, I hope to get outside and will aim to run for 40-45 minutes straight as I begin to prepare for my 10K race at the beginning of May.

How’s your running going? Has your training been affected by the weather this past week? Did you get a run in this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Sunday Morning Shuffle

Circle Hop
Click the badge to visit the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop

I didn’t quite manage to stick to the schedule this week, so I’m a little bit behind with my adapted C25K plan. Instead of doing the End of Week Five 20 minute run today, I ended up doing the midweek run instead.

According to C25K, this should have been two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute walk break in the middle. For me though, 5 minutes seemed a bit too long to walk, so I decided to cut it down to three minutes instead.

As usual, I chose the seafront for this morning’s run but, as the wind from the east was coming in pretty strong, I decided to adapt my usual route, going west for the first running section, east into the wind for the walk break, and then west again to finish. This would mean a slightly longer walk home, but I figured a bit of extra walking wouldn’t do any harm.

The run itself was surprisingly easy. I had been a bit worried about adding 3 minutes to my continuous run, but it wasn’t a problem, and I even managed to add another 44 seconds to the final running section, finishing on a nice even 3K in 19:44.

Pace wise, things are looking pretty good too. Because the running sections were longer than usual, I didn’t have any walk breaks in the first and third kilometres, which meant that I could get a more accurate indication of my running pace than I’ve had for a while.

The first kilometre was fairly slow at around 6:30, but by the third I had managed to pick it up to around 6:00. Ideally, I’d like to finish the program with a sub-30 5K, so it’s all looking good so far.

Unfortunately though, my Garmin doesn’t seem to be getting along very well with my laptop at the moment so I’ll have to sort that out to be sure, but all being well I’m hoping that my next run (20 minutes non-stop) will get me past the 3K mark. Watch this space…

How’s your training going? Did you get a run in this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Rubbish Run Is Still A Run

Today should have been a 5K continuous run, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I blame my breakfast, and maybe the three bottles of beer I drank last night, but mostly I think it was the breakfast. Normally I have a banana or a bowl of porridge (made with water) about an hour before my run, but this morning I opted for Cheerios and milk. And I think that’s where it all went wrong.

The run started out pretty well. My breathing was fine, my legs felt good and I was in control of my pace. It was all going great until about 2.5 kilometres into the run, when my mouth started to feel dry and my stomach started going a bit wrong – not run to the nearest toilet wrong, but not good either. So, at 3K, I took a walk break.

The walk break seemed to help so I started jogging slowly again, but I was wrong. My stomach just wasn’t feeling right. When I got to 3.5, I decided to turn of the Garmin and call it a day.

After about another half kilometre of walking though, I figured that I could probably manage to run another 1.5 and get my 5K in for the day. I fiddled with the Garmin¬†and somehow set it to start on a new lap. This seemed to be working as I jogged along past my starting point, but once I’d completed a kilometre, taking my recorded run to 4.5K, it beeped at me. Not sure what to do, I pressed the lap button again, thinking I was telling it to record another lap, but the next time I looked at the watch I realised that it had stopped!

At this point, I realised that enough was enough and decided to call it a day. My stomach wasn’t feeling quite as bad and I’d recorded 4.5K – walked a bit more than that and run a bit less, but by this point the numbers didn’t really matter. The main thing was that I’d got my run in.

I also used the Runzi app again to record my cadence. This time though, I wanted to record a continuous run so I stopped the app when I took my walk break at 3K and it turns out that my average cadence was 173 steps per minute, which really isn’t too bad at all.

So, yes, today’s run was a bit rubbish, but it was still a run and at least I’ve learned how to use the lap function on the Garmin and that Cheerios and milk for breakfast is probably not a great idea.

How’s your training going? What’s your favourite pre-run breakfast? What have you learned from those runs that didn’t quite go as planned? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Running Late

It’s still pretty warm in the evenings at the moment, which isn’t great for me as far as running is concerned. So, determined to stick to my training plan, I decided that I’ll just have to run a bit later than usual.

This evening, I headed down to the seafront at about 8:30. It was still quite warm when I went out, but there was a bit of a breeze to help take the edge of things, which was just as well because tonight was Fartlek night.

I started off with a fairly gentle jog and just allowed my pace to pick up naturally for the first kilometre before introducing some short sprints between lamp posts. I carried on in this way, with a couple of short walk breaks before introducing a bit more structure to the session.

One of the things that I like about Fartlek training (apart from the patterns that it makes on the Garmin timing chart) is making up games to play while I’m running. My first game was to sprint and then slow to a jog between alternating lamp posts, which was a nice way to ease into some faster pacing. I did this three times and then, somewhere in the third kilometre, decided to see if I could pick up the pace a bit more on the sprints.

2014-07-24_Graph

This time, the aim was to run between two sets of  lamp posts, then walk between the next set, which worked pretty well in terms of picking up the pace a bit more, although it did reduce the average pace for that split. Still, it was fun being able to run a bit faster and I managed five of these before slowing down again and finishing the run at a slower pace but this time without walk breaks.

Although the session was only supposed to be for 30 minutes, I decided to keep going until I reached 5 kilometres. I wasn’t going for a PB, but I was keen to see how close I could get. As it turned out, I completed the distance in 31:43, which is only 15 seconds off the PB that I set back in April. Not too bad for a Fartlek run!

2014-07-24_Splits

The only downside to the run was that I picked up a bit of a twinge in my ankle towards the end. It doesn’t feel too bad, but it’s not quite right so I’ll have to keep an eye on it and maybe do my weekend run on Sunday instead of Saturday to give it a bit of a rest.

What games do you play with your pace when you run Fartleks? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Juneathon Day 3: Back In Training

Today was the first 5K run of my new training program in preparation for a Race For Life 10K in five weeks time. Although I was really looking forward to getting a decent run in after a month or so of walking, I was a little bit concerned about how I would cope with running again. After my last two recovery runs, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in my running fitness, and it wasn’t good.

However, today was about getting out there again and going the distance. It didn’t matter how slowly I ran or if I had to stop and walk for a few minutes. I just needed to do 5K.

When it comes to running though, even training runs, I really don’t like stopping and starting. I know that there’s nothing wrong with it and that it’s a good way to build up endurance but, even though my legs need it sometimes, my head doesn’t like it. So, in order to give myself permission to stop, I decided to start my run on the streets where I would have to stop for traffic rather than on the promenade where you can pretty much keep running for as long as you like.

I started off at what I thought was a fairly slow pace, but when I checked my Garmin it told me that I was going a bit too fast for an easy run. I tried to slow down a bit and take my time and by the time I reached the seafront, I was doing between 6:30 and 6:40 minutes per kilometre, which is much more in line with my natural 5K pace.

Although I felt pretty relaxed throughout the run and felt much stronger than I had done a few days ago, I wouldn’t say that it was easy. I had to keep telling myself to keep going and focus on my breathing – something that I haven’t had to do on a 5K run for a long time.

Needless to say, when the Garmin beeped at 5K and I saw that my time was only 10 seconds slower than my PB, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Could all that walking really have improved my running after all?

Unfortunately, when I got home and uploaded the data, it turned out that the Garmin had gone a bit wonky and turned what should have been the first 250 metres or so into half a kilometre. It made sense really, as even though I was going a bit faster than I ought to have been to start with, I certainly wasn’t doing the pace that Garmin had said I was.

Still, it’s the first time that the Garmin has messed up like that and I’m pretty certain that I could have done another 250 metres without too much trouble, so it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that I got a decent run in and that I made a good start to my training.

Do you use a Garmin or other device to log your training and keep track of your pace? How accurate and reliable do you find it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

VRUK Blog Hop #3

I haven’t run or been for a long walk since last weekend. Not like me, I know, but after last Sunday’s 50K it’s fair to say that I’ve been feeling more than a little bit broken.

Still, as it’s the first weekend of the month, I thought I’d better get in my post for this month’s Virtual Running UK Blog Hop.

Circle Hop

I checked my Garmin profile this morning and it turns out that, over the last month, I have run more than 56 kilometres and walked or run/walked over 162 kilometres, so I guess it’s no wonder I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this week.

On the whole though I think the training has been going quite well. While there’s no doubt that I still prefer running over walking, I have enjoyed my long weekend walks as it’s a good excuse to just get out and have time to myself to exercise in the fresh air and I get to travel much further and for much longer than would be possible if I was running.

Unfortunately, walking these kinds of distances does take it’s toll on the feet and the legs, but I guess that’s to be expected as walking uses different muscles from running and they need time to recover just the same.

So, with just under three weeks to go until the London to Brighton Challenge, I still have some training to do but I figured that this week I just needed to take a bit of a break.

Of course, as we’ve got another nice long Bank Holiday Weekend, I may venture out again on Monday. I still need to do a bit of hill walking as part of my training and Ditchling Beacon is just up the road so it would be silly not to have a go – as long as the legs are up to it that is.

How’s your training going? Are you taking part in the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop? To find out more about it, click here. Have a great weekend!

Much Ado About Parkrun

Weekends never seem to come round quickly enough, especially when there’s a Parkrun on the cards. And this weekend was no exception.

After last week’s disappointment with being given the wrong result, I had missed out on that feeling of achievement that you get when you check the website to find that your imagined PB is in fact a reality. Of course, the good people of Parkrun were quick to correct last week’s error and the result was updated, but seeing it a few days after the event wasn’t quite the same. So I was keen to get a good result for this morning’s run.

When I got up and headed out to the park, I wasn’t really thinking about PBs though. I’ve just started training for my next 10K race and was still feeling a little bit tired after my two mid-week runs. So I figured I would just go out and enjoy being in the park with a few hundred other runners.

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and the wind was behaving itself for once as I joined the three hundred and seventy or so runners at the start line. Well, not at the start line exactly. More like a few metres behind, along with the slower runners, children and first timers.

Even then though, I started off much faster than I knew I should have done. I tried to rein it in a little bit to preserve enough energy for the final couple of kilometres, but I wasn’t overly bothered about it as long as I could complete the run without walking. After all, today was just about having fun.

Well, that’s what I kept telling myself as I tried to ignore my Garmin and judge my pace by feel. To be fair, I didn’t check it nearly as much as I usually do – just once or twice to make sure I was doing ok. And I was doing ok.

For the first four kilometres I was running pretty much by feel, but when the marshall called out the time at the 4K point, I realised that I could probably go for a PB if I wanted to.

Now, normally this would be a no brainer. I would start to pick up the pace slowly, checking myself to make sure that I could sustain it, and then try to pick it up a little more and so on until the final push to the finish line.

But this week I am training. To push to hard on Saturday could jeopardise my long run on Sunday. And, since I’m training for my second 10K, getting those long runs in is a bit more important than getting a PB at Parkrun.

However, I wasn’t convinced. Not completely anyway. So I decided to compromise and hold off until the final half kilometre before picking up the pace to the finish line.

It wasn’t exactly a sprint and I resisted the temptation to race the group of kids that were coming up behind me, but I kept it going until I crossed the line and stopped my Garmin at 32:04. A new Parkrun PB?

5K Map 2014-02-22

Well, I know I don’t always manage to start the timer quickly enough but, as it usually takes me an extra couple of seconds after the finish line before I remember to stop it, the few seconds here or there generally balance out.

This time though, when I checked the results, I was delighted to see that it was my own watch that was a couple of seconds over, giving me a new Parkrun PB of 32:02 – that’s 6 whole seconds off last week’s time and only 1 second away from my Garmin PB of 32:01.

I guess it just goes to show that sometimes our best results come when we least expect them.

How was your running this week? Did you do Parkrun? Are you aiming for a new PB, training for a race or just running for the love of it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.